The Pittsburgh Steelers are awaiting the arrival of star running back Le’Veon Bell, who will sign a $12.1 million franchise tender soon. For now, however, Bell is technically unemployed.
Just in case there’s a last-second snag — like every writing utensil in the world breaks — the Michigan State product decided to prepare a backup plan and filled out an application at Dairy Queen.
— Mad Rich (@MaddRichJr) September 1, 2017
It’s a humorous end to a long offseason for Bell, undoubtedly one of the NFL’s premier running backs. He’ll return to the backfield a wealthier man, though holding out for a long-term contract was understandable.
Few teams use their running backs more than the Steelers do Bell, whose 261 carries ranked eight in the NFL last season. He also caught 75 passes, only trailing David Johnson of the Arizona Cardinals at the position. Bell is averaging 24.1 touches per game for his career.
The long story short: Bell deserves to get paid.
One concern might be that the fifth-year player needs to “shake off the rust” because of his role, but the other angle is Bell has saved his body from additional contact this offseason by holding out. Given how often Pittsburgh uses Bell, the adjustment process is accelerated anyway.
“The way I train, all it’s going to take for me is a few practices and some game action,” Bell told ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler in July.
Pittsburgh begins the 2017 regular season with an AFC South matchup against the Cleveland Browns. After seeing him collect 201 total yards in the November meeting last year, the Browns probably wouldn’t mind if Dairy Queen accepted Bell’s application.